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Bible Living

People worship the beast, believing he cannot be resisted or overcome. As has often been observed in history, people support a winner. In the comment on , I defended the notion that God is the implied subject of this passive construction. Even though God ordains what the beast does, he does not have the same motivations or intent as Satan. The beast is allowed to exercise his authority for forty-two months. Some understand this to be a literal three and one-half years before Jesus returns. All totalitarian governments arrogating to themselves divine authority reveal that they too are the beast.

This is likely a reference to the people of God , showing that their true home is in heaven. The actions of the beast here accord with Daniel , where the beast opposes God and his people. The beast, harboring divine pretensions, hates anything and anyone devoted to the one true and living God. First, God has allowed him to make war on the saints and conquer them. This does not mean the saints surrender their faith cf. It means God allows the beast to take their lives cf.

God grants the desires of the beast for a period of time, so that the beast exercises authority over every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. Such an understanding is confirmed by the next clause, for the earth dwellers are those with names not inscribed in the book of life. The book of life contains the names of those who will not perish in the lake of fire cf.

Those who give their allegiance to the beast thereby demonstrate that they do not belong to the one true God. Word order is not determinative, and, given the parallels, John probably speaks of those who were inscribed in the book of life before history began. After all, the death of Christ was predetermined before history began, but it is quite another thing to say he was actually slain before the world began, for the Lamb was slain in history, not before the world began.

On the other hand, God decided before history began who would be inscribed in the book of life. John reverts to the formula used in all seven letters Rev. Those who have ears should open their ears and heed what is being said. People are told in advance about the authority of the beast and his persecution and slaying of Christians. They are informed that unbelievers will give to the beast their worship and their adoration. Hence, believers must ready themselves. Some are destined for captivity, and to captivity they will go.

Others are destined to be killed by the sword, and so it will be cf. Hence, believers are called upon to persevere and remain faithful to their Lord. They must remain loyal despite the persecution and difficulties at hand. The next paragraph —18 commences with John seeing another beast, coming up from the earth. If the first beast is the Roman Empire, the second beast is probably the imperial priesthood.

The Mark of the Beast

The deceitfulness of the second beast is apparent—he has two horns like a Lamb, thus presenting himself as being in accord with the Lamb, but he actually speaks like the dragon, revealing his message to be demonic. The second beast is the third member of the unholy trinity, functioning like an unholy Spirit. He exercises the authority of the first beast in his presence, compelling the inhabitants of the earth all unbelievers to worship the beast. Unbelievers are happy to comply, for the beast appeared to have divine powers, recovering from a seemingly mortal wound.

The Mark of the Beast

The beast, in other words, had its own version of the resurrection—just when totalitarian rule appeared to be squelched, it rose from the ashes to reign again. The plausibility of the second beast is augmented by its miraculous power cf. In other words, false religion seems to be verified empirically.

The use of marks in the ancient world

Just as Elijah could bring fire down from heaven 1 Kings , so false religion here is allegedly confirmed by signs and wonders. Both Jesus Matt. Such miracles test believers, ascertaining their devotion to the Lord Deut. The signs deceive the earth dwellers unbelievers; cf. Hence, the inhabitants of the earth make an image of the beast. Images were crafted for the sake of worship, and John reminds us again that the beast is worshiped because it seemed to be dead but sprung to life again. Unbelievers worship the beast because of its resurrection power, because the empire seems dead but keeps springing back to life.

The beast, then, is a parody and counterfeit of Christ.

Mark of the Beast - Life, Hope & Truth

We see again that the second beast functions like the Holy Spirit. Just as the Spirit came to glorify Jesus John and anoint him with power Luke —21 , so the second beast honors and empowers the first. When John describes it granting life to the image of the beast, we should not envisage an image literally coming to life. The speech of the first beast seems supernatural, inspired, authoritative, compelling; he speaks in oracles. But this is not a matter merely of persuasion. Similarly, Pliny writes to the emperor Trajan AD 98— about what to do with Christians: he ought not punish them if they sacrifice to the gods Epistulae Such absolute allegiance was demanded also by Nebuchadnezzar Dan.

Those who bow before the beast reveal they do not belong to the one true God cf. The second beast also enforces the power of the first through economic discrimination.

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No one, no matter his social class or influence, will be able to buy or sell unless he has a mark upon the forehead or hand to signify devotion to the beast. We touched on them only briefly here because they were covered thoroughly in Study Guide 15, question 8. It would have the mysterious number Revelation Naturally, we think of the pope. What is his official name?

Again, the papacy fits the identification point. No other power in history could possibly fit these 11 divine descriptive points. Now that we have positively identified the beast, we can discover her mark, or symbol of authority. In the Bible, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably. Revelation —3 says it will be written upon the foreheads minds—Hebrews of His people. It will signify that they are owned by Him and have His character. Hebrews —10 confirms this by saying that when we enter His rest receive salvation , we should keep His seventh-day Sabbath holy as a symbol, or mark, of salvation.

True Sabbath keeping signifies that a person has surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and is willing to follow wherever Jesus leads. What does the papacy say is her symbol, or mark, of authority? Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her—she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. Thus, the papacy claims that Sunday as a holy day is the mark, or symbol, of her power and authority. Did God predict such an attempted change?

In three ways: In her catechisms she has 1 omitted the second commandment against veneration of images, and 2 shortened the fourth Sabbath commandment from 94 words to just eight. The Sabbath commandment Exodus —11 clearly specifies Sabbath as the seventh day of the week. And, finally, she 3 divided the tenth commandment into two commandments.

In two ways: 1 She attemped to change the time of the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day. Instead of counting the Sabbath day from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night as God mandates Leviticus , she adopted the pagan Roman custom of counting the day from midnight Saturday night to midnight Sunday night.

Notice the following section from a Catholic catechism: " Question: Which is the Sabbath day? Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day. Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Louis, B. Herder Book Co. It is our symbol, or mark, of authority and power.

But by whom?

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  • Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer.

    Sunday Law is Coming!

    You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.

    London: Burns and Oates, Ltd. Religious leaders who ignore God's holy Sabbath will face His indignation. What solemn warnings has God given regarding His law and His sign, or mark? God warns religious leaders against causing people to stumble by saying that some commandments do not matter Malachi —9. God warns people who want their ministers to preach smooth fables rather than the truth about His law Isaiah , God warns people about hardening their hearts against the truth of His law Zechariah God states that the upheaval, tragedy, problems, and woes of earth come because people refuse to follow His law—and have even tried to change it Isaiah —6.

    God warns religious leaders who refuse to preach the prophecies of the end time Isaiah , Revelation says people will receive the mark of the beast in the forehead or in the hand. What does this mean? A person will be marked in the forehead by a decision to keep Sunday as a holy day.

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    The hand is a symbol of work Ecclesiastes The sign, or mark, for either God or the beast will be invisible to people. Though invisible to men, God will know who has which mark 2 Timothy According to Isaiah , 13, 14, what decisive message does God deliver to His people in the last days? If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight He wants His messenger to speak loudly so the people will hear. Notice that the third angel of Revelation —12, who brings the message about the mark of the beast, speaks with a loud voice also verse 9.

    The message is too important to treat as ordinary. Jesus says His sheep, or people, will follow Him when He calls them John , Do people who worship on Sunday as a holy day have the mark of the beast now? No one will have the mark of the beast until Sunday worship becomes an issue forced by law. His power is available to those who obey Him Acts Without Him, we can do nothing John With Him, all things are possible Mark Those who refused to identify with the beast or his image and who refused to have his mark or name in their foreheads Revelation The people who—today and for eternity—follow where Jesus leads, trusting Him fully in everything Revelation What is Jesus saying to people today?

    If we follow Him, we will not end up in darkness but will, instead, have glorious truth. What blessed protection and assurance God has offered us! If you are wondering what Protestant churches have to say about the papal claim for changing Sabbath to Sunday, quotes appearing on the next two pages will provide the shocking answers. God is asking you to keep His holy seventh-day Sabbath as a sign that you have accepted His salvation and will follow Him wherever He leads. Will you decide now to begin keeping His Sabbath holy? It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week.

    Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament—absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week. Edward T. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which [Catholics] never sanctify. Hence we conclude that the Sabbath was sanctified from the beginning, and that it was given to Adam, even in Eden, as one of those primeval institutions that God ordained for the happiness of all men.

    How to find the meaning behind the number 666

    Louis, The Bethany Press, , p. No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?

    Moody, Weighed and Wanting , p. The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath. Blake, D. Womack, "Is Sunday the Lord's Day? The seventh day was blessed and hallowed by God himself, and This commandment is of universal and perpetual obligation. Quiz Questions 1. Many people have already received the mark of the beast. The mark is literal and will be seen by all. God also has a mark, or symbol, of His power and authority.

    How did the "beast" attempt to change God's law? In Bible prophecy, how long is 42 months? Where will the beast's mark be placed? Where will God's mark be placed? Which of the three angels' messages is the warning against the mark of the beast? Jesus gave us the warning message regarding the mark of the beast. Sign, mark, seal, and token are used interchangeably in Scripture. There is no scriptural authorization for observing Sunday as a holy day. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments. Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor.

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